Sunday, October 26, 2014

Coming Soon To Milwaukee County - The Failure Of A Mental Health System

Like Boss Abele, the State of Washington thought they could get by on the cheap when it comes to servicing our most vulnerable citizens with mental health issues.  In Washington, a lack of psychiatric beds are causing chaos in hospitals, jails and legal system and violating people's civil rights:
Some of Washington's mentally ill are strapped to gurneys in emergency rooms awaiting beds in psychiatric hospitals, while others sit in jail for months waiting for competency evaluations and treatment. And some are getting trapped in both broken systems.

One court has already ruled that warehousing mentally ill patients in emergency rooms is unlawful. But while the state tries to find solutions to its overcrowded psychiatric facilities, some of these distressed patients respond badly to the hospital settings and end up getting charged with assault.

That lands them on the jail competency waitlists — the target of a federal lawsuit that goes to trial in March.

Until the state changes the way it funds services for Washington's mentally ill, these patients-turned-inmates will remain in what some call inhumane conditions — trapped in stark concrete cells peering out of tiny windows.
As in Washington, Abele's plan is already proving to be more expensive with less services for those who need them the most. But hey, at least his rich friends will keep getting richer when he sells them the land the mental health complex sits on.

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